I’m heading out to Internet Research 9, the annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers, in Copenhagen today. My flight leaves tonight, so I’m still in my pjs, going over my packing, counting pairs of underpants, looking for socks, and filling up my toiletry bag. Since my list of friends on Twitter is largely people like me, interested in the internet from a professional as well as personal perspective, many of them are also attending the conference. With each update, I see more and more of them heading to the airport, reporting on line ups and airport staff, giving their final hurrahs as the plane door shuts. Seeing people already on their way makes me question whether I got the time right for my flight, and I’ve already checked my ticket twice.
While many people can’t work out what the point of twitter is for, and I might not be the right person to explain it to them, I can’t really think of another medium that gives you that kind of glimpse into other people’s lives as pieces of a puzzle that occasionally all fits together. For me, right now, it’s a look at the zeitgeist, a sense of shifting from one place to the next that we, as a group of professionals, are in the process of taking.
Jeremy is already there; he left yesterday and is stumbling around Copenhagen right now trying to stay awake and enjoy the sunshine. I wish we were traveling together; I don’t much like overnight flights and I’m anxious about getting there and going through all the minutae to get myself to the hotel while feeling groggy, exhausted and uncomfortable. I find it strangely comforting to see so many other people, just like me, so unlike me, going through the exact same process.
How do you quantify the feeling of comfort?